SINGAPORE (STRAITS TIMES/BERNAMA) – The ringgit has slumped to its weakest level against the Singapore dollar in at least 33 years, on the back of an ongoing decline in global crude oil prices.
One Singapore dollar could buy 2.67 ringgit yesterday, compared with 2.63 ringgit at the beginning of the month.
The currency is now even weaker than it was during the Asian financial crisis – one Singapore dollar could buy 2.66 ringgit in January 1998.
The ringgit closed lower against the US dollar and mixed to lower against other major currencies, as the greenback continued to scale greater heights, dealers said.
At 5pm, the ringgit was quoted at 3.4940/4960 against the US dollar compared with 3.4880/4900 yesterday.
A dealer said the upbeat US economic data added more strength to the dollar while nervousness over falling crude oil prices kept oil-producing countries’ currencies under pressure.
The ringgit depreciated against the British pound to 5.4866/4919 from 5.4667/4720 the day before.
It slid against the Euro to 4.3423/3459 from 4.3405/3437, but strengthened against the yen to 2.9483/9502 from 2.9502/9521 previously.
Analysts say Malaysia is likely to be among the Asian countries hit hardest by the precipitous decline in global oil prices, with the ringgit expected to continue weakening until crude oil prices stabilise.
Oil-related industries account for a third of Malaysian state revenue.